How to De-stress Holiday Moving with Kids
Holiday moves are toughest on the kids, not you.
Moving is hard. Moving with kids is even harder. But moving with children over the holidays — is there even a word for it? One that we can print on this site?
Adults have to deal with the hard work of moving: the packing, the organizing, the logistics, and all the details. Moving is a full-time job on top of the full-time work you already do for bread money and the full-time responsibility of parenting and maintaining a home.
But the kids are being pulled out of school, removed from their safe and familiar environment, and distanced from their friends. In a moment, their entire world is turned upside down.
The holiday season just adds to the stress — even if you’ve been planning the move for months, and you’ve done your best to coach up the kids.
But you don’t have to lose the holiday spirit with your family — not entirely. Try these tips to take the edge off moving stress, so everyone can enjoy the holiday season.
Lighten up, Mom & Dad!
- Kids pick up cues from their parents. If you look frustrated and stressed, or are moping because you can’t celebrate with the extended family, your children will follow your lead. Act optimistic and excited. Tell them about the new room in their new home, just waiting to be painted in their favorite color. Describe the park nearby, the activities for kids in the new neighborhood, and so on. Show your excitement, not dread and worry, and your children will follow.
- Don’t skimp on the decorations, even though they add to your workload. Whether you decorate at the old house and again at the new house, or only at the new house, make the holiday decor a priority. Pack decorations separately and take them in the car, so you can put them out before you get to all the other stuff. Or, if necessary, buy all new decorations when you arrive at the new address. However you do it, decorate.
- Inaugurate a new family tradition. For example, if you’re driving a long distance to the new location, open one present each day in the car. Or maybe you can buy a new decoration at each place you stop for the night — a cactus decoration in Arizona, an armadillo in Texas, and so on. Each year, when you’re putting up the decorations, you can reminisce over hot chocolate (or something stronger) about the journey to your new home.
- Go all out for holiday music. You’re driving for hours on end, so what else are you going to do? Download the streaming holiday music in gigabytes, or tune satellite radio to a station where holiday cheer plays 24-7. Make a game of it. What’s the worst Christmas song ever? The funniest? You have nothing but time to do your research and come to a consensus.
- Make the trip memorable. As an adult, what stands out in your mind more than childhood road trips in the family car? Now’s your chance to create similar memories for your kids. Plan your trip your route around fun attractions, cities where friends and relatives live, historical sites, and famous landmarks. Consider staying the night in an extra-nice hotel, and make sure it has an indoor pool for the kids!
Of course, one of the easiest ways to reduce the stress of the move is to hire a first-rate moving company like Walsh. Call us today to discuss your options. In the meantime, happy holidays to you and your family!